Stranded In The Southland

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Echo...Echo Mountain

Since Angeles Crest Highway was still closed, the Wednesday hikers headed up to Echo Mountain, rather than a hike down a canyon. I'd been up there once before, but the mudslides made it a bit different. If I'd been by myself, I would've turned around, but with others around to back me up, it was no problem.

We made it up pretty quickly, had some lunch at the top, and played around with a little spring that had welled up into the middle of the trail. It was just bubbling away in a really cool way, so it was fun to see it.

It was a pleasure to get up there, although I kinda wished we'd gone a bit further. I didn't have enough food or water to get up to Lowe. Bummer.

You Say Potato....

Sunday, I started to look around a bit for a quick, good hike, and decided on Smith Mountain, maybe 18 miles above Asuza. Alas, as I drove up there, I found that CA 39 was closed just three miles above Asuza, due to the terrible storms. It'll be closed for up to two months.

I fell back to the classic San Antonio hikes and headed up Potato Mountain, one of the Lower Peak hikes. The fire road up to there ran along a beautiful stream. The flood damage was amazing -- lots of trees knocked over and lots of deadwood thrown up on rocks. I wish I'd seen it when it happened!

The hike up to Potato Mountain is nice and short, but fairly steep. I really got my heart rate up, which is always a benefit. There were quite a few mudslides to traverse, along with some new gullies.

I zipped up, hung out with a couple of other guys up there, and took some interesting pictures of the San Antonio Dam, and zipped down. It was especially amazing to see the six-foot wide and six-foot deep gully right next to a little one-foot square galvanized steel drain. I guess they put it in the right place, but it wasn't nearly big enough.

All in all, a fun hike.